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Model Capstone Exercise to Incorporate Global Perspective into Amer Gvt GE Courses
Unformatted Document Text:  At the third class meeting, the instructor takes a census role, and begins to assign teams. Great care should be taken to address the balance of age, gender, prior friendships, and ethnic diversity in team assignments. Depending on the class size, naturally, the assignment is divided up to balance numerically. With four areas of study, each subdivided into seven sub-sets, the maximum tested number of participants has been 125 (five persons per team answering one of 24 potential questions) and the minimum number of participants tested has been 15, with each student covering one question on their own, and one question in collaboration with another student. Obviously, the number of students assigned per question is the most easily manipulated variable, however tests have shown that reducing the number of questions, or even of the number of eras, is also successful, although student retention and learning outcomes show a reduction from those who experienced the full assignment. As the course continues, students are introduced to the standard American Government curriculum as defined in many contemporary courses, student learning objectives and Title Five expectations being fully incorporated. The difference with this capstone exercise, however, lay in the aspect that students now pay special attention to those areas of study that most closely align with their team assignment (Constitution / Federalism, Civil Liberties / Civil Rights, etc.) as they now feel they “own” that area and might learn concepts that will be useful in their research. Students are most often interested in differing viewpoints on select issues relating to their period or “lens,” and seem to pepper class discussion and lecture question / answer periods with highly developed and well considered questions driven by their areas of study. Student

Authors: Kiraly, Michael.
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At the third class meeting, the instructor takes a census role, and begins to assign
teams. Great care should be taken to address the balance of age, gender, prior friendships,
and ethnic diversity in team assignments. Depending on the class size, naturally, the
assignment is divided up to balance numerically. With four areas of study, each
subdivided into seven sub-sets, the maximum tested number of participants has been 125
(five persons per team answering one of 24 potential questions) and the minimum
number of participants tested has been 15, with each student covering one question on
their own, and one question in collaboration with another student.
Obviously, the number of students assigned per question is the most easily
manipulated variable, however tests have shown that reducing the number of questions,
or even of the number of eras, is also successful, although student retention and learning
outcomes show a reduction from those who experienced the full assignment.
As the course continues, students are introduced to the standard American
Government curriculum as defined in many contemporary courses, student learning
objectives and Title Five expectations being fully incorporated. The difference with this
capstone exercise, however, lay in the aspect that students now pay special attention to
those areas of study that most closely align with their team assignment (Constitution /
Federalism, Civil Liberties / Civil Rights, etc.) as they now feel they “own” that area and
might learn concepts that will be useful in their research. Students are most often
interested in differing viewpoints on select issues relating to their period or “lens,” and
seem to pepper class discussion and lecture question / answer periods with highly
developed and well considered questions driven by their areas of study. Student


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